The other week I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2016 Sales Machine Keynote. In this presentation he spoke of his lemonade stand days. He had a collection of them and he had his friends staff them. He would then ride between them and as he did he would observe the traffic. He would watch where they were coming from and where they were headed. He would watch the cars and look around the intersections. What was he looking for? The perfect spot to place his advertising to grab their attention. He knew that too soon or too late and he had lost them, but pitching at the right time, place, and style had them.

In this age of digital bombardment it’s hard to get attention. Well that’s what it feels like. All this chatter we need to compete with. All those tweets, posts, and grams flying through the feed. Messenger messages and chat bots chirping away. Ads, sponsored posts, offers, optins, pixels, adwords, tracking codes. All of these are ways we try to gain our client’s attention. Do they work?

Well there’s an art to getting their attention.

Gary mentioned that part of the issue in gaining their attention came down to location and another to copy, he didn’t mention motivators or influencers.

Location and attention

I’m a firm believer in that you can not convert unless you are in the right place at the right time with the right thing. So how do you know you’re in the right place?

There are two ways you can do it. You can go to where your fans hang out or you can pull them towards you. Going where your fans hang out may narrow the field but it can stack the deck in your favour. Pulling them to you, cold, from across the internet is a tough gig.

I’m a fan of gathering, and keeping your fans, where they like to hang out. Why? They’re comfortable and you’re less likely to lose them there.  Though you do have competing distractions, they’re comfortable & generally happy. Done well, you won’t even seem like an interference.

In this example, Gary watched where the drivers looked and placed his posters on the trees they looked at the most. Perhaps it was mechanics, perhaps it was something else distracting them, but it was where they were drawn.

If we use Facebook as an example, there is a lot competing for our attention. This is precisely where Gary said the copy on his poster came into play.

How copy grabs attention

Now I am not going to go into some long winded discussion on the perfect copy and copy formula. I can write copy, but I don’t teach it. It’s just not my passion. What I do know is this… too many small businesses and sole traders write copy with the wrong intention. They think that they have the answer. Wrong! Your client has the problem.  I understand that that might seem backwards so let me explain.

Want to get someone’s attention and diffuse an argument, repeat their issue back to them so that they realise that you heard them and you get them. I don’t just know this from some text book, this comes from speaking to injured Veterans, their spouses, and their lawyers for five years. They didn’t want my pity or placation, they wanted to be heard. Your client is no different. They have a problem they want fixed and they want you to hear that.

The easiest way to grab someone’s attention, and even buy in is to repeat their words back to them. So you don’t necessarily have that luxury, but with a little research you can.

To grab attention in copy you need to:
- tell them their problem (and actually do)
- use their language
- speak to their values.

Too often businesses are stuck in the old push, ‘buy my shit’, mentality and they forget that the audience is flooded with messages and signals to buy someone’s ‘shit’. What they don’t get is someone who genuinely gets where they’re coming from and where they want to be.

So the attention getter for them it’s their motivators/influencers

So Gary didn’t get into the copy but he spends a ridiculous amount of time talking and listening to people and working out what their motivators are. When he speaks to people, he pins their motivator and problem and spits it back at them and they buy it.

So how do you understand their motivators and influencers? They tell you. They tell you in their feedback, in their reviews, their friend s tell you. If you don’t have this then you ask and research, you go to other sources and competitors and see what is being said. In one way or another, you listen. You listen to the emotions they use, the feelings they have, the problems you solve. You pay attention and then you grab theirs.

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